After several trips to the coal fields in Eastern Kentucky, I had asked my friend Dan Bourque to look over a few track plans I had sketched out of the E&BV and Long Fork subs out of Martin, KY. Most all of the loaders were still active during my early CSX modeling era. After a few revisions, here is the plan that he came up with.
Monday, April 5, 2021
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
I've been enjoying making these small grab iron modifications to these stock Bowser painted hopper kits. I also realized that by cutting away the molded on grab irons, it exposes the air tank, which really needs a bracket. This was made with a small scrap of .10 styrene cut into a triangle. The H-48 class hopper actually had a split side panel, however I didn't want to attempt that to a pre-decorated car. It turns out that Vallejo black is a very close color match to the Bower kit. Some light weathering blends everything together.
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
C&O/Chessie 100 ton 3 bay hopper #159858, built in 1977, part of a 2000 car order from Raceland Car Shops. This car was built from an undecorated Bowser kit with Steel Valley Models decals. I scratchbuilt the end grabs/ladder to match the prototype as before but this time used .20x.30 styrene strip instead. I think it looks much better than my previous attempt.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Monday, February 15, 2021
C&O #160103 started out as an undecorated Bowser 3 bay 100 ton hopper kit. Besides building the kit and adding cut levers, I cut off the existing grab irons on the left sides of the car and right sides of the ends and added strip styrene and .12 wire to more accurately model the prototype car. There is one thing that I did try that I'll never do again. Instead of painting the car flat black and repainting with a clear gloss, I tried painting with gloss black and adding decals. Either this technique just doesn't work or the decals I had weren't the best, I could not get the decal film to disappear, even after 9-10 applications of Solve-set. Oh well, lesson learned.
Here is a William Rogerson photo of the real thing:
Saturday, January 23, 2021
This goes back a few years, maybe 2005. Here's a photo of my first scratch built hopper, a Bethlehem 4 bay 100 ton hopper, Clinchfield #57020. I don't remember how long this took but it was a fun project. The old Herald King decals probably took as long to settle down as it did to build it. For weight I added fishing weights between the bays underneath the car.